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Parden, Mary, 1915-1999



  • Existence: 1915 - 1999


Mary Parden, secretary to five University of Iowa presidents, was born in 1915 in George, Iowa. She graduated from University High in 1932 and from the University of Iowa in 1936. Parden taught commercial classes in Manson, Iowa, after finishing her studies at the University. She then taught at the American Institute of Commerce in Davenport, Iowa, until 1942. Her next position, which she held from 1943 to 1945, was with the pre-flight program at the University of Iowa. Parden worked at Spiegel's in Chicago until 1947 and then returned to the University of Iowa to work at the graduate school. In 1948, she became the secretary to the University's president. In this capacity, she served Presidents Hancher, Bowen, Boyd, Spriesterback (acting president), and Freedman. Parden retired from the University in 1984.

Parden was an active volunteer with the Girl Scouts, American Association of University Women, University Alumni Association, and the Iowa City and Coralville Public Libraries. Parden received recognition for her speech "New Perspectives for Future Secretaries," which she presented at the 6th Professional Workshop in Business Education in 1966. Parden was a lifelong member and supporter of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Iowa City. Parden died in Iowa City in 1999.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Mary Parden papers

Identifier: IWA0416

University of Iowa graduate who worked as secretary to four University of Iowa presidents.

Dates: 1929-1999